Independent Thoughts: Senior Center set to debut repair cafe

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Senior Center set to debut repair cafe

Repair cafes have been around for about a decade now, and this year the event will make its debut in Hopkinton. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a repair cafe is a gathering of people with fix-it skills who volunteer their time to repair items brought in by members of the community.

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Senior Center directors Amy Beck and Ashley Shaheen are organizing the event along with former resident Jim Bright, who suggested it to them.

“Jim came to us with this idea of hosting this repair cafe, which would be a community-wide event in which people would come to the cafe with items that would need to fixed, such as lamps, jewelry, knives that would need sharpening, etc.,” Shaheen said. “The idea behind it is that we live in such a throwaway culture — if something’s broken, you buy something new. The idea is to promote a more sustainable community in which people would come together — we would have some volunteer fixers who would help individuals with their items that need to be fixed. So aside from the sustainability component there’s also a socializing piece of it as well, to get to know your neighbors in your community, too, while working to fix items.”

The event, scheduled for Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m.-noon at the Senior Center, is free, although donations will be accepted for the Friends of the Seniors. Any parts needed are the responsibility of the owner.

As of early March there were a handful of people lined up to volunteer, and more are being sought.

“We’re looking for anyone who’s interested — people who sew, knit, can fix jewelry, as well as the knife-sharpening, lamp repair and that type of thing,” Beck said

Items to be repaired are limited to those that do not have gas or oil — think household gadgets rather than lawnmowers or snowblowers.

“I’ve got about five lamps in my basement that need to be repaired, and I know that I’m not alone,” Beck said. “And as we’ve talked to people that’s become very clear, that there’s a lot of people that have those little items, still something you want to keep but definitely could use some fixing.

“No one wants to throw away Great Aunt Susan’s favorite lamp. If we can fix it, we’ll do it.”

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact the Senior Center at 508-497-9730.

HHS athletic director not sold on tourney changes

Massachusetts will be moving to statewide high school tournaments in all team sports starting with the 2021-22 school year, but the move was not supported by Hopkinton High School athletic director Rich Cormier.

At a special assembly on Feb. 27 in Marlborough, representatives from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association’s 380 member schools voted 193-140 in favor of eliminating sectionals for team sports. The move is designed to create a more equitable path for each team to advance in the postseason. Because there are fewer schools in the western part of the state, schools there often have to play fewer games to reach the state final.

Instead of seeding teams by record, the high school sports website MaxPreps will seed teams based on its proprietary formula. Divisional alignments, based on student enrollment, will see some changes as well.

The most obvious disadvantage to the new system is the potential increase in travel.

Cormier said his no vote was based primarily on not being provided with enough details.

“[HHS principal Evan Bishop] and I did not feel like we had all the information we wanted in order to vote yes and be able to defend that vote,” Cormier explained via email. “One piece that ADs asked for and never received was to see what an entire season would look like under this system. … My other main concern is that we are moving to a new seeding system based on MaxPreps rankings next year and I would like to see how that pans out before making another decision on the state tournament structure that relies heavily on a seeding system that we haven’t used previously.”

Cormier said he also wanted to see how the new divisional alignments might look.

“It would have been beneficial to know what divisions our teams will be competing in before making a vote of this significance,” he noted.

Despite his concerns, Cormier will support the new format.

“In the end, I think there are some definitive positives in terms of making the tournament more equitable and consistent from one sport to another, from one area of the state to the others and in terms of divisional alignment,” he stated. “A year from now, if we had a little more information and had the opportunity to see how the new ratings/ranking system functioned we may very well have voted yes, but either way we are now moving forward as a state with this statewide tournament and we will work hard to make the situation the most positive one possible for our student-athletes.”

Hopkinton Democrats back Biden

Hopkinton reflected the national trend on Super Tuesday, with Democrats throwing their support behind Joe Biden. Based on unofficial results the day after the March 3 voting, the former vice president received 1,491 votes. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was second with 874, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was third with 747, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took fourth with 561. A total of 3,960 Hopkinton residents voted in the Democratic primary.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump received 548 votes and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld had 109.

For full results, check the town website.

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